Quick Links

Capitals chasing some impressive team numbers


Capitals chasing some impressive team numbers

News and notes as the Capitals enjoy a day off following Tuesday night’s 2-1 overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes and await Friday night’s home game against the Nashville Predators:

Fast to 50: With their win on Tuesday night the Capitals became the sixth team in NHL history to win its 50th game by its 69th game of the season. Here are the others:

1995-96 Red Wings (Game No. 66) No Stanley Cup

1970-71 Bruins (Game No. 67) No Stanley Cup

1976-77 Canadiens (Game No. 67) Won Stanley Cup

1977-78 Canadiens (Game No. 68) Won Stanley Cup

1975-76 Canadiens (Game No. 69) Won Stanley Cup

2015-16 Capitals (Game No. 69) ?????????

Quick clinchers: The Caps became the first NHL team to clinch a playoff berth this season, but they actually clinched faster back in 2009-10 when they clinched in their 67th game. That team had 101 points through 69 games. This team has 105 points.

Bounce backers: The Capitals remain the only team in the NHL without two consecutive regulation losses this season. The Caps are 13-0-1 following a regulation loss this season and have outscored opponents 49-24 in those games.

Fast starters?: After allowing the first goal in 13 of their previous 15 games the Capitals got on the board first against the Hurricanes and improved to 30-2-0 this season when scoring first.

Home dominance: The Capitals are 21-3-1 in their last 25 games at Verizon Center and have outscored their opponents 87-54 during that span.

Holtby’s record: In addition to setting the franchise record for wins in a season with his 41st victory, Caps netminder Braden Holtby is now the 13th goaltender in NHL history to post multiple 40-win seasons and is the seventh goaltender in NHL history to record consecutive 40-win seasons. Marty Brodeur owns the NHL record with eight seasons of 40-plus wins.

Ovi in OT: As you might imagine, Alex Ovechkin has the most overtime goals (17) in franchise history and leads the NHL in overtime goals since 2005-06. With 42 goals in 67 games, Ovechkin is on pace for 50 goals and 25 assists this season. Patrick Kane is his closest rival in goals with 38.

Russian flair: With his overtime assist on Ovechkin’s goal Evgeny Kuznetsov picked up his 50th assist of the season, making him the first Capital since Ovechkin in 2010-11 (32 goals, 53 assists) to record at least 20 goals and 50 assists in a season. Kuznetsov has 33 points in his last 28 games (7 goals, 26 assists). To put that in perspective Kuznetsov had 37 points in 80 games last season.

Willy’s not chilly: Justin Williams’ second-period goal extended his point streak to four games (2 goals, 2 assists). It also puts him pace for 25 goals, 32 assists and 57 points, his highest total since 2011-12 when he notched 59 points with the Kings.

[RELATED: Holtby sets franchise wins record, can he catch Brodeur?

Quick Links

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: How does Brooks Orpik really impact the Caps?

NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: How does Brooks Orpik really impact the Caps?

No player on the Caps gets more scrutiny than defenseman Brooks Orpik. While the analytics aren't kind when he's on the ice, we got to see what the Caps looked like without him when he was scratched against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday and...well, his loss was noticeable.

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir discuss what Orpik's true impact on the Capitals really is both on and off the ice on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast. Plus, they also talk about John Carlson's monster season and Barry Trotz's new strategy for the goalies.

Listen to the latest episode in the player below or here on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

Quick Links

Caps prospect watch: Signing season?


Caps prospect watch: Signing season?

The 2018 NCAA Hockey Tournament bracket has been announced and only one Capitals prospect, Brian Pinho, is still in the running.

Providence College was selected as the No. 2 seed in the East Regional and will play No. 3 Clarkson in the first round on Friday, March 23 on ESPNU. The winner will play the winner of Notre Dame-Michigan Tech on Saturday with a chance to advance to the Frozen Four.

The college season is over for the rest of the Capitals' college prospects which begs the question, will any of them sign an entry-level deal with Washington?

In the spring when seasons end for colleges, junior leagues and European leagues, we see a flurry of signings across the NHL as teams sign their prospects and young free agents.

Among the Caps' college prospects, the most likely candidate to sign would be Shane Gersich. Gersich just wrapped up this third season at the University of North Dakota, finishing second on the team in goals (13) and tied for third in points (29). The Capitals will certainly make a push to sign him considering his talent and because if he returns to college for a fourth year, he stands to become a free agent on Aug. 15, 2019.

Brad Elliott Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald reported Wednesday that North Dakota was still awaiting Gersich's decision on whether he planned to return to college.

Quinnipiac defenseman Chase Priskie is in a similar situation, but it he has decided to head back to school for another season.

“That wasn’t a season I’d want to leave on,” Priskie told the New Haven Register. “When I came here as a freshman I saw our senior class, Garteig, St. Denis, Soren Jonzzon, and they left such a legacy that guys still talk about them. Same for Sam Anas and Devon Toews. They were all such great players and some of the best people for our program. When I leave, I want to be talked about like they are.”


Other prospect notes:

  • For Pinho, now a senior at Providence, this marks an opportunity for him to finish his college career the same way he began, with a national championship. “I don’t think I realized at the time how hard it is just to get back to the tournament,” Pinho told the New Haven Register. “So that’s something we older guys have been telling the younger guys. You never know when you’re going to be back and you have to make the most of it when you’re there.” (You can read the full feature on Pinho here)
  • The end of the season may suddenly be near for goalie prospect Ilya Samsonov. Metallurg Magnitogorsk finds itself down 3-1 in its series with Ak Bars in the KHL playoffs meaning their season could be over as early as Friday. Of course, the big news to watch after that is whether or not Samsonov would come to North America. If he does, he would most likely go to Hershey to play for the Bears. With only 10 games remaining on Hershey's schedule, however, the sooner Samsonov's team is ousted from the playoffs, the better. At least from a Washington perspective.
  • All three of Washington's WHL prospects have reached the WHL playoffs. Moose Jaw (Dmitriy Zaitsev) finished with the best record in the league and will play Prince Albert in the first round. Swift Current (Beck Malenstyn) finished second in the East Division behind Moose Jaw and will play Regina. Everett (Garrett Pilon) won the U.S. Division and earned the top seed in the Western Conference. They will play Seattle in the first round.
  • Dmitriy Zaitsev remains out after taking an illegal hit last week. He did not play in either of Moose Jaw's final regular season games, but was a full participant in practice on Wednesday.
  • Adam Carlson has found his groove in Kansas City. Playing for the Mavericks of the ECHL, he won each of his two starts this past week allowing only one goal on 43 shots. He was named the 2nd star of the game for both games.
  • Madison Bowey recorded an assist on Friday and two more for Hershey on Saturday for three over the weekend in his first week back with the Bears. Bowey has spent the majority of the season with the Caps, but the additions of Michal Kempny and Jakub Jerabek at the trade deadline meant there were just too many bodies up in Washington and not enough playing time to go around. As Bowey is waiver exempt, he became the odd-man out and was sent to the AHL. It would not be surprising to see him recalled by Washington when the NHL playoffs begin.
  • Defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler brought his goal total up to five for the season with two goals against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Monday. The Bears really wanted to emphasize his offensive game this season to see if Siegenthaler could be developed into a two-way player. His strength is definitely is on the defensive end of the ice, but he will be a more versatile player if he can also be a threat offensively as well. You can see the highlights of Siegenthaler's two-goal game here:

  • Forward Hampus Gustafsson was recalled to Hershey last week and did not wait long to make an impact. He scored his first career AHL goal on Friday. He also added an assist making that game his first career multi-point game as well.
  • Tyler Lewington was suspended two games by the AHL for a punch he delivered to Bridgeport's Scott Eansor in Friday's game.

Who are the Caps' top 10 prospects? Find out here in this week's updated rankings